In-vitro studies showed that a number of factors are likely to influence the production and maintenance of a bifidobacillary flora and low in the faeces of newborn infants. Considerable importance is attached to the nature of the end products of bacterial metabolism in the large intestine. Thus, there is evidence to suggest that acetic acid and other metabolites of intraluminal bacterial growth suppress the growth of gram-negative organisms, but are without effect upon that of bifidobacteria. This mechanism in turn is controlled by the nature of the feed; important factors in breast milk include high lactose, low protein and low phosphate content.


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